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Talk of impeachment, Trump’s ‘dirty’ word, growing?

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Jun 5, 2019 - 12:35:04 PM

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WASHINGTON—To impeach, or not to impeach? That is the question in political Washington these days. While President Donald Trump was off for an official state visit to Britain, demands for his impeachment in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives were growing louder at home. There is one surprising drawback: the party leadership in the House has discouraged impeachment talk.

President Trump making an impromptu announcement from the White House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told California Democrats June 1, that Congress would continue aggressive investigations into President Trump and the Trump administration, stopping short of calling for the beginning of an impeachment inquiry, relying on the persuasiveness of the recently completed Mueller Report.

“In his report, special counsel Mueller warned us in the starkest terms that there was an attack on our election and an attack on our democracy,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a speech to the California Democratic Party. “Why won’t the president defend us from this attack? What is the president covering up?” she asked stopping short of promising impeachment. “We must investigate the president’s welcoming of the assault on our democracy.

“President Trump will be held accountable for his actions: in the Congress, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion, we will defend our democracy. We will go where the facts lead us. We will insist on the truth. We will build an ironclad case to act,” she said.

“I think that she’s being very conservative on impeachment, even though her party is crying for it,” Dr. Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University told The Final Call.

One reason Speaker Pelosi and others are hesitant on the subject is “because people think it’s a long drawn out process. It isn’t,” he said. “You could impeach somebody in a period of two or three months in the House, and I think Trump knows this and he’s flipping the script once again saying he’s going to ‘investigate the investigators,’ which consumes time, pushing the impeachment process— which has very little prospect of convicting Mr. Trump in the Republican-controlled Senate—into the 2020 election cycle.”

Supporters see impeachment as the only way to hold a lawless president accountable to the law. Speaker Pelosi cautions Mr. Trump may be hastening his own doom. She told reporters at the Capitol recently that the president “is almost self-impeaching,” saying that “he is every day demonstrating more obstruction of justice and disrespect for Congress’s legitimate role to subpoena.”

Many, many Democratic House members—and one Republican Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)—have called for the House Judiciary Committee to take up the impeachment call. This despite Mr. Trump’s soaring popularity (90 percent) among Republicans, and his highest overall job approval rating (46 percent) of his presidency.

“The public is growing unusually weary of investigations into President Trump and any effort to mount significant new investigations carries a significant risk of blowback for the Democrats,” said Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey.

Democrats worry that the country is facing a “constitutional crisis” which can only be resolved by Congress asserting itself as a co-equal branch of government. “I have called for impeachment because I love my country,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) told Democracy Now!. “You see, we are now at a point wherein the House has to demonstrate its will. The Framers of the Constitution have shown us the way; we have to demonstrate our will.

“We have not moved forward, as we should, with impeachment. We have the Mueller report. And we’re at a point now, Ms. Goodman, where the House itself is on trial in the court of public opinion.

“The question is: Will we allow the time-honored system of checks and balances to be destroyed by this president? Your news report has indicated that he has resisted. In fact, he’s stonewalling. He doesn’t allow subpoenas. He doesn’t allow witnesses to testify,” Rep. Green continued. “And the question is: Will he then amass this enormous amount of power that the Framers never intended him to have?

“This is the equivalent of becoming a monarch. We don’t want a monarchy; we want democracy. And impeachment is the means by which we maintain the check on the president so as to keep the balance of power,” Rep. Green said.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said June 2 he believes Mr. Trump will be impeached “at some point” but that Democrats must first build a case for it. Mr. Clyburn is the third-ranking Democrat in House leadership. He spoke with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.

“What (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi is trying to do, and the rest of us in the House of Representatives is to develop a process by which we can efficiently move on this issue so that when we get to a vote, it would be something that she calls ironclad, I call effective. And that is why we are trying to take our time and do this right,” he said.

“I think, (Treasury Secretary Steven) Mnuchin, as well as the Attorney General (William) Barr, all of them need to be impeached because they’re violating the Constitution. And Trump knows it,” said Dr. Winbush. “We have a crime family in the White House (Speaker) Pelosi knows it, but she’s putting politics above her constitutional duty to impeach officers of the executive (branch, which) commit high crimes and misdemeanors,” he continued.

“There needs to be an historical record that this man, we thought that his behavior was obnoxious and criminal and even though the Senate did not feel that way, we do.”

But some observers fear that Mr. Trump is preparing to extend his power and authority, even if he loses the 2020 election. He may be counting on an uprising among his armed and rowdy supporters if his presidency is threatened, and he is already considering deputizing the military as a civilian police force according to a report in The Daily Caller.

“The Donald Trump presidency, marked by cruelty, corruption, and disdain for the rule of law, has been disastrous for our democracy,” Rosanna Arquette wrote. “If there is one silver lining, it is this: Trump’s abuses have exposed weaknesses in our laws and institutions that were previously hidden and which we can now begin to try to fix.”

Meanwhile, the executive director of “Rolling Thunder,” the annual quasi- military event that features thousands of motorcyclists traveling to Washington to honor prisoners of war and the missing in action, said that his membership would descend on the nation’s capital if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, decides to try to impeach the president.

“I would like to see Nancy Pelosi and her hypocrites work on the POW issue instead of bulls---ting (and) aggravating the president of the United States, who’s doing a fantastic job,” Artie Muller, Rolling Thunder’s co-founder, who served as an Army sergeant in the Vietnam War said after their annual Memorial Day ride, according to published reports.

This kind of loyalty is why Mr. Trump has not concerned himself with expanding his base, according to Dr. Winbush. “I don’t think you need to expand the base. If you have intentions to provoke the American society possibly leading to a second civil war and I think that’s all Trump is worried about. He doesn’t care about anybody, but himself.”